Health Reform Navigators vs. Brokers

A United States map with a stethoscope across it, symbolizing national health care policy and wellness of the population
A United States map with a stethoscope across it, symbolizing national health care policy and wellness of the population
The federal government has invested $67 million dollars on hiring navigators to help enroll the 25-30 million uninsured Americans in the health exchange beginning October 1st. Uninsured Americans will have the option to purchase insurance through a navigator, a broker, or an online insurance exchange agency.

Health Reform Navigators:

  • Navigators are individuals who have spent 30 hours completing an online training course to learn about the health exchange and the various subsidized plans. However, unlike insurance brokers who are able to offer advice and help personalize the decision making process, navigators will not be able to recommend health plans. The goal of this policy was to eliminate bias when selling health plans based on commission rates. Still, most individuals prefer the advice of a broker or agent who has experience with the different insurance carriers and has a better understanding of matching health plans for specific health needs.

Calling a Broker for Advice is Free!

  • It is important for people to understand that broker services do not cost extra money. The cost of a health plan remains the same whether you enroll through a broker or through the exchange. Brokers receive a commission from the insurance carrier of the plan they are selling not through any extra costs from you. So if you want advice, use your broker!

Online Insurance Exchange Agency

  • Another alternative to purchasing health insurance on the exchange is through the 5 online health insurance agencies. These agencies are authorized to sell the federal government plans only in the 36 states operated by the government.  The agencies include: eHealth, Towers Watson, HealthCompare, Getinsured, ConnectedHealth, GoHealth.
  • eHealth is a complete online enrollment process where users are able to purchase insurance without any human interaction. A representative from eHealth claimed their goal was to become the of health insurance. eHealth and the other selected companies were chosen because they will provide an increased number of outlets for Americans to purchase insurance. More outlets means more Americans enrolled by January 1st. 2014 according to the Obama administration.

How to Find a Personalized Health Plan:

  • Unfortunately, these online health insurance outlets will not be able to provide the human element of personalization many Americans seek. With the increasing number of health issues facing American families and the various levels of income, purchasing health insurance becomes a confusing process. Ultimately, people will want the advice of an agent who has a better understanding of the industry, the plans, and how to match personal needs to an affordable plan. Protect you and your family by getting the advice you need.
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